Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Big News, Book Nostalgia, and an Impromptu Pitch Contest

So last week there was a wonderful feature article about Spencer Hill Press in Publishers Weekly. (You can read the article here!) And, as if that wasn't exciting enough, it was also the official announcement of my most recent secret project! After waiting (impatiently :) for many months, I am thrilled to announce that the amazing Kate Kaynak has asked me to head up our new YA Contemporary imprint, SPENCER HILL CONTEMPORARY! 

I am so excited to be able to share this incredible news with all of you and share (in just a few short weeks!) some of the amazing titles we will be publishing in 2013! Contemporary YA has always been a great love of mine and I could not be happier about having the opportunity to work with some absolutely incredible authors and books!
Spencer Hill Contemporary is going to publish the full spectrum of YA contemporary titles -- from light, sparkly comedies to darker, edgier dramas. All of these books will bring to life vivid, authentic teen voices and stories.

In honor of this amazing news, I wanted to do an impromptu pitch contest here on the blog! We have plans to do a few of these over the next few months, but this one is going to be a bit more specific than most. 

I'm looking for a contemporary YA romance or romantic comedy that takes place over the winter holidays. Think Anna and the French Kiss -- but during the holidays. Or something like Jenny Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty series -- at New Year's. The best example I can think of is Louise Plummer's The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman. First published in 1995, this is my absolute favorite holiday YA. It's not the holidays until I've done my annual re-read of this adorable, snarky love story about a budding romance writer who falls for her older brother's best friend. 

So here are the rules! The contest will be open until September 25th. In the comments below include your title, word count, and a pitch of no more than 50 words. I am looking for completed, polished manuscripts, though I would consider a work-in-progress if the pitch really blows me away. Please include some way for me to contact you. I will email the winners to request pages after the contest closes. 

Thank you to everyone who has been celebrating with the Spencer Hill Press team over on Twitter and Facebook! Stay tuned for some very exciting book announcements in the next few weeks!


  1. Congratulations, Patricia!!!! I am so excited to see what you put out there through the new imprint! That's amazing news. So, so glad for you and pumped!

  2. I'm so happy for you and Spencer Hill Press! Go Patricia!

  3. CONGRATS Patricia!! :D That is so awesome!
    I am so glad to be interning with SHP. There are so many awesome things in the works!

  4. Hi,Patricia,

    Huge congratulations! My critique partner, Kimberly Ann Miller, one of your new SHP authors, turned me onto you guys. You are all awesome!

    So, I guess I'll go first (squriming in my chair)

    STEALING SARAH is a 46k Contemp YA:

    Forced to get a holiday job to help her financially struggling mother, Sarah's hot manager, Jake, makes working great. Always the outsider, Sarah's thrilled when Jake takes an interest in her. But Jake’s true intentions, hidden behind gifts and kisses, could land Sarah in jail for a long time.

    If you like this, I can be contacted at apalm48 at comcast dot net

  5. Thank you for hosting this pitch opportunity. My submission is a WIP, nearing completion and I hope you might be interested in reading my manuscript.

    Geeky Christmas Pageant

    Marli Jeliski is pretty, smart and funny but who cares? She's president of the Geek Squad and that's where she's popular. In a bad way. Marli directs the Christmas Pageant, determined to break barriers between geeky girls and popular prissys. If Chelsea Blake can be knocked off her high horse.

    1. Projected word count of 49,000
      Contact information: Talynn Lynn,

    2. Fifteen year-old LUCY ACEVES is living a cultural tug-a-war. She wants nothing more than to live a normal teenage life like her American-born friends. When she wins the heart of Evan Ellis, she never considered the lying and sneaking around she would have to do to keep him a secret.

      The Sixteen Rule is a complete 46K contemporary romance.


    3. I understand that you are looking for a holiday novel. The Sixteen Rule is set in the summer which most teens consider to be a holiday. :)

  6. Thank you, Ms. Riley, for this opportunity to pitch a YA Contemporary Holiday edition manuscript. I hope you might enjoy reading my story.

    Switched For Christmas, 48,000 words

    Cadence Bradford dreams of attending the Winter Ball and Candence Bradley wants nothing more than to get away. The girls unlikely meeting presents them with the perfect opportunity to switch places. Little does Cadence know she just signed up to attend the winter premiere of The Bachelor for Prince Riley.

    You may contact me at

    Thank you, and I look forward to your response.
    Talynn Lynn

  7. The Lies That Bind

    62,000 words

    Blackmail isn’t the best way to start a relationship, but sixteen-year-old honor student Haley Patterson is willing to give it a shot if it will save her reputation and land the guy of her dreams.

    Thank you for the opportunity to pitch my contemporary YA.

    Chris Canada

  8. I came back to the blog to see some pitches! Sounds like you'll have some great stories soming your way, Patricia! I'm so thrilled for your new responsibilities at SHP and - selfishly- even more thrilled we'll be working together :-). Looking forward to it!